The Grand Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi has assured that he will be working for the benefit of all Australians and warned against any division being created on the basis of “us” and “them”.
“Because we’re all one family and we all have to help each other and work together,” he said.
The newly elected Mufti was speaking at a Ramadan Iftar Dinner on Saturday 26 May hosted by him together with the former Grand Mufti Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed held at Star Palace Reception in Fairfield, Sydney.
On being questioned by AMUST as to how he was going to manage the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, the Mufti said that he will be a frequent visitor to Sydney and in collaboration with the National Imam’s Council (ANIC) as well as the former Mufti, he will address any issues facing the community in a most positive way.
The event, MC’ed by ABC’s Jane Jeffes was attended by invited guests which included politicians, interfaith leaders, government and police officials and Muslim community leaders,
Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells pointed out that Australia was a most successful multicultural country and said that as Australians we pride ourselves for religious freedom and interfaith dialogue was very important in forming a united front on a range of issues.
Father Rod Bower who met the new Mufti for the first time said that it was a great opportunity for political and religious leaders to celebrate diversity and show that we are all Australians together.
The President of the Uniting Church Ms Diedre Palmer said that she was excited to work alongside Sheikh Al-Afifi to engage with disenfranchised youth.
“I’d like to work alongside them in supporting them because I think they’re the ones that are going to build an Australian society that’s respectful and can live at peace and openness with one another,” she said.
Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed during his welcome address talked about his highly engaging experience during his tenure of seven years six months and half day which he found very challenging at times.
He said that he will return to his scholarly work, but will remain in a mentoring role as the former Mufti to advise the new Mufti work in building a cohesive society in this country.